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AT&T Stadium, home of the Dallas Cowboys. Texas will allow all pro sports to resume May 31. Photo: Tom Pennington/Getty Images

Texas, New York and California say professional sports could begin in the next few weeks without fans, an option franchises are exploring to salvage postponed seasons during the pandemic.

Why it matters: Pro sports and collegiate venues can typically hold thousands of people in one sitting, a main reason nearly all major franchises in the U.S. were forced to discontinue games in early March.

What's happening: State governors who have been encouraged by the lower amounts of hospitalizations and coronavirus cases said Monday that the kick-start of pro sports without spectators could be something to look forward to if these trends continue.

  • California Gov. Gavin Newsom said they would look at statewide announcements to allow pro sports to resume without an audience as early as June 1.
  • New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo encouraged sports teams in the state Monday to start planning to hold games without fans in attendance and televise them, offering help.
  • In Texas, Gov. Greg Abbott announced pro sports may resume May 31 if their submitted plans are approved by the state.

The big picture: Pro sports teams are exploring several options such as isolating MLB players in hotels and testing during the season.

  • There could still be strict guidelines for NBA teams resuming workouts, with no more than four players allowed within a facility at one time, Sports Illustrated reports.

Yes, but: There's a lot more to a sports team than just the players — coaches, trainers and media broadcasters would also need to be quarantined after traveling.

The bottom line: Whether due to social distancing efforts or summer weather, infection rates will eventually go down. But this early in the pandemic's cycle, that reality might act as a false positive of sorts if pro sports moves too quickly, endangering players and others.

Go deeper

Kendall Baker, author of Sports
Aug 12, 2020 - Sports

Big Ten, Pac-12 postpone football as ACC, SEC, Big 12 don't

Photo: James Black/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The slim prospects of a fall college football season have evaporated in a matter of days — but don't tell that to the ACC, SEC and Big 12, which are still trying to make their seasons happen.

The state of play: The Big Ten and Pac-12 postponed all fall sports to the spring on Tuesday. No football, cross country, volleyball, soccer or field hockey.

Aug 14, 2020 - Sports

NCAA postpones Division I fall championships

Photo: G Fiume/Maryland Terrapins/Getty Images

The NCAA announced Thursday that it has postponed Division I fall championships as individual conferences cancel their seasons due to concerns tied to the coronavirus.

Why it matters: Universities have tried to find ways to safely move forward with fall sports, a major source of revenue for schools. Fall championships for Division II and III were already put on hold.

Scoop: Biden weighs retired general Lloyd Austin for Pentagon chief

Lloyd Austin testifying before Congress in 2015. Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Joe Biden is considering retired four-star general Lloyd Austin as his nominee for Defense secretary, adding him to a shortlist that includes Jeh Johnson, Tammy Duckworth and Michele Flournoy, two sources with direct knowledge of the decision-making tell Axios.

Why it matters: A nominee for Pentagon chief was noticeably absent when the president-elect rolled out his national security team Tuesday. Flournoy had been widely seen as the likely pick, but Axios is told other factors — race, experience, Biden's comfort level — have come into play.